Prep Sports

Iowa boys' state swimming qualifiers: Iowa City West, Linn-Mar win district titles

Iowa City West's Jordan Christensen. (The Gazette)
Iowa City West’s Jordan Christensen. (The Gazette)

If the results of Saturday’s district meets are any indication, next Saturday’s Iowa high school boys’ state swim meet should produce some good results for area teams.

Gazette-area schools were placed in three of the six districts held around the state. Top-ranked Iowa City West and No. 7 Linn-Mar both captured district titles. West won six of 11 events and used its depth to take the team title at Davenport Central. Coach Byron Butler’s team finished with 480 points, easily outdistancing Bettendorf (411).

At Dubuque, Linn-Mar took seven of 11 events to take the championship with 452.5 points. Runner-up Cedar Falls finished with 350 points.

No. 8 Cedar Rapids Washington took runner-up honors at Clinton. Paced by double-winner Mats McGrath, the Warriors scored 371 points to take second behind champion Pleasant Valley (460). Iowa City High won six events and finished third with 365 points.

Here’s a look at each of the three districts. Click here for the complete list of state qualifiers from the IHSAA.

Davenport district

At Davenport, the Trojans met Butler’s expectations.

“The boys had a good meet today,” he said. “They did a good job to take the team title and they are looking forward to the state meet.

Jordan Christensen was a double winner for West, taking the 200-yard individual medley in 1:57.74 and the 100 breaststroke in 58.25, giving him the No. 3 seed for state. He was also part of winning relay efforts in the 200 medley (1:35.13) and 200 freestyle relays (1:25.82). Both times were district bests throughout the state, giving West the top seed in each race at state.

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Other winners for West included Max Garke in the 200 freestyle and Boyd Skelley in the 100 backstroke.

Butler said his team is looking forward to trying to defend its title next Saturday at the Linn-Mar Aquatic Center.

“The boys have given themselves a chance to reach their goals despite a long time out of the pool at the start of the season,” he said. “I think there will be a fantastic atmosphere at Linn-Mar.

» Complete results

Dubuque district

Tom Belin admitted he had no idea how his team would respond to being on the road for a district meet.

“I had concerns how’d they would do, especially given the crazy year,” Belin said. “Those concerns were gone after the first event. This team has a lot of character.”

Linn-Mar got outstanding performances from juniors Cooper Callahan and Aiden Carstensen. Both were double individual winners. Callahan took the 200 (1:41.06) and 500 (4:39.03) freestyles while Carstensen captured the 100 backstroke (51.34) and tied with Decorah’s Gus Grimstad for the 100 butterfly (51.40) title. Carstensen is the No. 2 seed in the 100 backstroke while Callahan, who was named the district athlete of the meet, is the No. 3 seed in both of his events.

The Lions also swept all three relay titles.

“The team is ready for state,” Belin said. “They pulled together and elevated everyone. We had impressive time drops as a group.

“I expect them to build on today,” he added. “They know how to swim fast in their pool.”

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Decorah’s Grimstad also won the 200 individual medley. Vinton-Shellsburg’s Carter Kirtz was the 100 breaststroke champion.

» Complete results

Clinton district

Iowa City High had the top-end results, but depth pulled Washington to a second-place finish.

McGrath’s wins were the only ones for the Warriors, but Chris Cruise said it was one of his most enjoyable seasons as Washington’s coach.

“It’s been such a difficult season for everyone, but our kids really rallied around each other,” he said. “They were so supportive of each other all year. This was the most fun I have probably ever had coaching a team.”

McGrath took the 200 freestyle in 1:43.72 and the 100 butterfly in 51.28.

“We had a great meet overall today,” Cruise said. “We still have a little more left for next week (at state).”

City High’s Weigel won the 200 IM and the 100 freestyle. He will be the No. 2 seed in the 200 IM and the fifth seed in the 100 freestyle. Caleb Coons (100 backstroke) and Kento Yahashiri (100 breaststroke) also won individual titles for the Little Hawks.

» Complete results

» Fort Dodge district results

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» Johnston district results

» Southeast Polk district results

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